On the 3rd August, our local MP for Brentford and Isleworth, Ruth Cadbury attended the Hounslow carers group.  Here, Sunil Aswani, Service Manager Hounslow LIFE Integrated Support takes us through the visit.

Our carers group is an informal and supportive group for carers who spend most of their time caring for their loved one(s).  This group provides them with some much needed time to meet other people who are going through similar experiences and to learn more about the types of assistance available in the borough.  We worked in collaboration with our carers who asked us to invite their local MP to talk about how they can better feedback their views, and to discuss how a local MP can help them to access the support they need from the council. We invited Ruth and were pleased that she could attend, as our service users are central to our thinking and actions. 

The carers took the opportunity to discuss coping mechanisms, useful agencies in the borough and offered a supportive ear to those who wanted to have their voice heard.  Amongst other topics, they also talked about the integration of health and social care services, the possible ring-fencing of funding for carer services, how to best raise concerns to their local councillors and the role of an MP.

It was a great meeting that demonstrated the value of working together to address the common challenges of  carers, with the group leaving more knowledgeable on how to access support and, having made a positive contribution, felt more empowered as their voice was heard.